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Freightquote.com, a Lenexa,KS-based online shipping company, has won approval from the Missouri Development Finance Board for state incentives, completing an aggressive play to persuade the company to cross the Kansas-Missouri state line, Kansas City Business Journal reports.
Freightquote was approved for $7 million in BUILD tax credits, which can be applied to income tax and other business taxes. Freightquote also is eligible for Missouri Quality Jobs Program incentives, which allow the company to keep payroll withholding taxes for a fixed period of time. With an estimated $55 million annual payroll from existing employees moving to Kansas City and the prospect for about 200 more jobs during the next few years, the Quality Jobs incentive is worth an estimated $26.2 million during the life of the incentive.
Freightquote is among the biggest targets to swap states in the long-running Kansas-Missouri economic development border war, which has picked up pace in recent years.
MDFB board members discussed general misgivings about the cross-border business swapping but said that attracting Freightquote sends a strong message that Missouri can hold its own.
The so-called border war has been criticized, mostly quietly, by business, civic and government officials. The criticism has focused primarily on the hefty outlay of tax incentives for companies that move a few miles in one direction or another, which can come to the detriment of municipal and school district budgets.
In Freightquote’s case, it will move 11 miles to just cross into Missouri. Kansas City has been on the losing end of several significant company moves to the Kansas side, so officials consider Freightquote’s move a notch in their belt.